Take just a couple of minutes to look at this video. It is a record of an extraordinary series of events – which were really one big event. On April 23 this year ILAB Booksellers worldwide connected with the public and other booksellers in a way that was different to anything that had been done before. No less than 32 ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs, all held during the 24 hours of April 23, all starting one after another across the world embodied so much of what is at the core of ILAB: working together to promote the rare book trade and to improve the world of books for all of us.

On UNESCO World Book & Copyright Day 2015 ILAB booksellers brought the books to the people. They popped up at the most unexpected places, in schools, at train stations, restaurants, pubs, schools, museums, libraries, woolsheds, business clubs, in the streets, on boats, on skyscrapers. For 24 hours they were part of a great chain of books spanning across the world, raising over 10,000 Euros to support literacy worldwide and showing the most beautiful bookish items to people many of whom had never seen or touched such treasures before. It was an amazing experience.

Help us make the 2016 ILAB Pop Up celebrations even bigger. In 2016 World Book & Copyright Day will be the 400th anniversary of the death of both Shakespeare and Cervantes – and ILAB has plans to make this very special.

JOIN US ON 23 APRIL 2016! 


It is just over 6 months away and so now is the perfect time to talk to a few colleagues and organise something in your area. ILAB Pop Up Fairs are just that, quick events that pop up and are gone. ILAB Pop Up Fairs are bookish flashmobs, simple, spontaneous, cool - speed dating for book lovers. With their smaller more informal format they are a nimble, interesting and exciting way of presenting antiquarian bookselling in the 21st century, attracting people far beyond the usual book fair visitors to people who haven’t previously been aware of the fascination of old and rare books. The ILAB Pop Ups are an amazing means to attract younger people, and they are a proof that that ILAB’s motto is still alive: Amor librorum nos unit.

We invite you to use World Book & Copyright Day 2016 day as creatively as you can – promote your books, promote the rare book trade and support literacy, which is at the core of all we do.

Email us now!

Sally Burdon and Barbara van Benthem, Co-conveners ILAB World Book & Copyright Day Celebrations




It is with pleasure we report that ILAB’s participation in UNESCO’s 2015 World Book and Copyright Day was a great success. Hundreds, if not thousands of booksellers and members of the public were involved. Although it is not possible to know the exact number who took part based on careful estimates we believe it to be a minimum of several thousand people. ILAB’s celebrations received a significant amount of media interest, including for example, an article in The Guardian who created a special additional site where pictures of the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs could be uploaded. We are proud to report ILAB booksellers across the world raised at least Euros 10,528.01 for UNESCO’s South Sudan literacy project.

It was a special celebration for a great many reasons, but without doubt a principal one, was proof that antiquarian booksellers want to work together. A large proportion of the comments we have received from booksellers who took part in the day stated that working with colleagues across the world with the united purpose of promoting the rare book trade while raising money for literacy was the attraction for them. This is a shining example that ILAB’s motto is still alive: Amor librorum nos unit.

Thirty two events in twelve countries took place on April 23: A charity auction (in Cape Town), an appraisal  day (in  Moscow) and 30  Pop  Up  Book  Fairs.  The  day  opened  in  Australia, with  a progression of events through Asia, Europe and then across the United States. The creativity shown by the ILAB affiliates who organised these Pop Up Fairs was inspiring and unexpected. If you have in mind static Pop Up Book Fairs where middle aged and older booksellers showed their wares to similarly aged book buyers think again - you definitely need to look at the blog we spent the whole, yes, the entire 24 hours putting together live!

On  April  23rd  ILAB  affiliates  held  pop  up  book  fairs  giving children, students and a very broad cross section of the general public access to rare books. These fairs popped up at the most unexpected places, to mention just a few; a barge on a canal in Amsterdam, a woolshed in the Australian bush, a library in an underprivileged section of Antwerp, an elegant historic business man’s club in Munich, a bookshop in central Tokyo, the new Museum of Literature in Vienna, a brew pub in Portland Oregon, a whole street in Groningen… -  there was even a travelling pop up fair in England with “Celeste the Rare Book Campervan” visiting primary schools on the road from Salisbury to Oxford.

Amidst such a great diversity of events there was a very significant unifying factor shared by all ILAB affiliates – a deep commitment to literacy. As mentioned above the ILAB celebrations contributed over Euros 10,500 to UNESCO’s important literacy work in South Sudan. ILAB has transferred Euros 8192.17 to the UNESCO Euro bank  account  we  were  advised  to  donate  to.  The  remaining amount was donated via the button on UNESCO’s World Book and Copyright Day site. We understand that more funds than we are aware to date have been donated - UNESCO will be giving us the figures soon.

ILAB affiliates worldwide have and will get real benefit from our activities on April 23. Firstly there has never been so much publicity - and all of it positive - about ILAB and the antiquarian book trade. Lots of people around the world added photos from the pop ups they visited to the website added to the article in The Guardian. AbeBooks supported ILAB’s worldwide campaign with a generous donation of US$2000 to the South Sudan project, blogged about the day on several websites and in several languages and sent representatives to two of the ILAB Pop Up Fairs in Tokyo and in Portland (US). Moreover AbeBooks gave its entire home page to promote ILAB's celebrations on 23 April. Numerous book blogs like The Bookhunter on Safari, Book Patrol, My Sentimental Library, The Literary Tourist, Fine Books and Collections and iBookcollector published articles, and Sheppard’s Confidential dedicated a whole series of articles to the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs. ILAB sent out press releases to the international press and, most importantly, the organisers of the Pop Ups got into contact to the local press using and modifying the press templates provided by ILAB. In summary it was ILAB affiliates across the globe that launched a worldwide campaign. This was a worldwide campaign which was mentioned in the press from Cape Town to the Sunday Times to the local newspapers in Dunkeld, Country Victoria in Australia. And even more: ILAB and the ILAB affiliates were omnipresent in the internet on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day. The number of visitors of the ILAB website doubled on 22 and 23 April, 2015. In addition, ILAB attracted an impressive 2500 visitors to the newly established ILAB blog on that day, and there were hundreds of posts and tweets in the social media. Such a campaign, launched worldwide in a joint effort by ILAB affiliates had never been seen before. A graphic demonstration of the power of working together.

Finally, we are pleased to report that sales were made at many of the ILAB Pop Up Book Fairs. In some cases these were serious 6 figure sales. We have heard several reports from booksellers that the events of April 23 continue to work in the favour of booksellers who took part. In fact last week a bookseller reported selling a $8500 book to a customer he met at the Pop Up Fair he exhibited in. This bookseller rang to say thanks. Without the Pop Up fair with its smaller more informal format he thought this collector would not have walked right past his books. The Pop Up Book Fair format is different  and  has  much  to  recommend  it  as  a  nimble, interesting  and  exciting  way  of  presenting  antiquarian bookselling in the 21st century.

Hope you will join us next time!

Norbert Donhofer, President of ILAB



http://ilabpopupbookfairs.blogspot.de/p/pictures.html and https://www.ilab.org/eng/ilab/ILAB_on_UNESCO_WORLD_BOOK_AND_COPYRIGHT_DAY_2015/PRESS_-_Links.html


Sally Burdon - Sally@AsiaBookroom.com - phone 61(0) 62515191

Barbara van Benthem - editor@ilab.org - phone +49 170 2111406


AMSTERDAM – A Dutch and English Story in Pictures

By Frank Rutten

De aanloop.

Om 11 uur zou het schip van Mokum Mariteam voor onze winkel komen aanleggen. Dan zouden de deelnemende antiquaren, Die Schmiede, Kok, Spinoza, en Brinkman hun kramen aan boord inrichten, de stand voor de Unesco klaar maken en weer afvaren. Maar om 10 uur werd ik door de schipper gebeld met de medeling dat het schip die ochtend zware averij had opgelopen, en voor een paar weken uit de vaart zou zijn. Gelukkig kon dezelfde ochtend nog een vervanger gevonden worden, en rond twaalf uur konden we aan boord.

The running up.

Our ship was due at 11 o’clock in front of our shop. One hour before the skipper phoned informing me that the ship had suffered severe damage that very morning and was out of service for the next weeks. Luckily another smaller vessel was found as subsitute, and an hour later than planned the participating antiquarian bookdealers, Kok, Die Schmiede, Spinoza, and Brinkman, came on board, set up their stands and the UNESCO-posters, and up we went to our first landing stage.

De vaartocht.

De eerste stop was het Amstelveld, vervolgens gingen we naar het Rokin t/o de Bijzondere Collecties van de UvA, en tenslotte naar het Singel vlakbij onze winkel. Het was stralend weer, de boot was – ook al moesten we improviseren – opvallend opgetuigd, en we trokken veel bekijks. Nog meer kijkers trokken we toen Reinier Sijpkens zich met zijn Muziekboot bij ons voegde. Aan boord hadden we het genoeglijk met elkaar, een filmgroepje van de School voor Journalistiek te Utrecht was erbij om een reportage te maken.

Sailing the Amsterdam canals.

First call was at Amstelveld at half past one, off Prinsengracht. After that over Amstel river, right in the centre of our city, on Rokin, opposite of the Special Collections department of the University Library. Along the route we attracted a lot of attention from tourists and locals alike. We flew the Unesco Book & Copyright banners and ILAB and NVvA-flags. Here Reinier Sijpkens joined us in his ‘music boat’, a cockle-shell-boat furnished with a real organ, and trumpets. Fine water music we had, which he dedicated to Unesco and ILAB alternately. Last stop on Singel canal near our shop, Antiquariaat Brinkman, at 4 pm. We had a fine day, glorious weather, a very pleasant passage,company accordingly. A crew from the School of Journalism was on board, and filmed a news item with some in-depth interviews.

Opmerkingen achteraf.

Een leuke dag die het oude boek en de NVvA en de ILAB onder de aandacht van veel passanten en toeristen heeft gebracht. Ik denk dat de belangrijkste winst, behalve een gezellige dag voor de deelnemers, zit in het feit dat de ILAB voor het eerst een mondiale actie heeft gevoerd.

Some retrospective remarks.

We had a fine day, and brought ILAB and NVvA to the attention of a lot of passers-by and tourists. The main benefit of this day – besides having had a very nice day in the company of some fine colleagues – was that ILAB showed it can mount a good show wordlwide, and that we really felt part of a global network.


Voor een reportage van onze tocht gemaakt door René Krul zie deze link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cyMLGIpRta4


For more extensive coverage of our Odyssee, please link to:

(Text and pictures: Frank Rutten, NVvA)


Budapest, 23 April 2015 – The Hungarian booksellers welcomed lots of booklovers at the Instituto Cervantes

Magyar Antikváriusok Egyesülete, the Hungarian Antiquarian Booksellers’ Association (MAE), is the youngest member of ILAB – and the Hungarian booksellers are among the most active ILAB affiliates. The ILAB Pop Up Book Fair in Budapest turned the Instituto Cervantes for some hours on UNESCO World Book and Copyright Day 2015 into a busy place for Hungarian booklovers.

More pictures, courtesy of MAE President Adam Bosze:


Tokyo, World Antiquarian Book Plaza, 23 April – A report from ILAB Pop Up Book Fair visitor Colin Laird (AbeBooks)

One of the most fascinating things about Japan is the harmonious blend of old and new. If you spend enough time there, seeing a thousand-year-old temple set among sky scrapers or watching as elegant ladies dressed in kimono rush past teens sporting the latest (and often bizarre) fashion trends will start to feel perfectly normal. Today, as I headed into Tokyo to attend the Pop-Up Book Fair put on by the International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) aboard a Shinkansen at more than 300km/h, I knew that I was about to experience one of those special paradoxes. 

Tokyo ’s edition of 2015 ILAB Pop-up Book Fair in support of Unesco World Book and Copyright Day took place in the World Antiquarian Book Plaza (WABP) – a permanent fixture on the third floor of Maruzen Bookstores in centrally located Nihonbashi. Founded in 2011, the WABP is a treasure trove of rare and antiquarian books, and collectible printed materials from 22 world-renowned antiquarian booksellers from 11 countries. 

Thoughtfully laid out with a museum-like feel, WABP offers an impressive selection of items ranging from ancient clay tablets to intricate pop-up books; and from 15th century illuminated manuscripts to 20th century modern signed first editions. The partner booksellers often refresh their inventory and local curators make great effort to elegantly display the material.  A large part of the collection is displayed out in the open, available for anyone to view up close and personal.

My host, Mr. Naoyuki Seki (Secretary of ABAJ, and Manager of Antiquarian Books for YUSHODO Co) kindly took the time to show me some very interesting books and other collectible printed material, including some of the following collections:

• A series of books published in the late 1800s as Tokyo opened its doors to Western influence. Written in languages other than Japanese (including English, French, German, and Danish) these books were printed to give a first glimpse of Japanese culture and folktales to foreigners wanting to know more about this fascinating land. Beautifully illustrated and printed on “Crepe Paper” – a cloth-like type of paper - Mr. Seki was more than happy to bring the collection out from behind the glass case to allow for a closer look, and to feel the beautiful texture.

• A special-themed monthly collection put together by the WABP members.  April’s focus was on paper – including Japanese Washi, and many other types of beautiful and collectible hand-made paper and paper products.

• A stunning selection of visually-pleasing items including woodblock prints, lithographs, and rare hand-colored early photographic postcards. It also included several rare pop-up books, depicting scenes such as the Voyage of Marco Polo, or Little Red Riding Hood.

• A set of gorgeous ancient copperplate-engraved maps printed in Germany including some of the earliest foreign-made depictions of Japan.

• A set of ancient Japanese playing cards containing phrases from historical Japanese poets.

Maruzen Bookstore is well-worth a trip on its own merits, but the addition of the WABP makes it a must-visit for any booklover in Tokyo. Take a moment to step out from the bustle of Tokyo and spend a quiet moment taking in some of the best collectible books Tokyo has to offer.

World Antiquarian Book Plaza is open every day (except January 1) from 10:00 – 20:00.


• THURSDAY 23 APRIL - 10 am to 8 pm

World Antiquarian Book Plaza
Nihonbashi 2-3-10, Chuo-ku
Tokyo 103-8245


• Originally published on the AbeBooks book blog, presented here by permission of the author. Pictures: the author.


Antwerp, Bibliotheek Permeke, 23 April 2015 - A review in pictures

Bibliotheek Permeke in Antwerp (Belgium) is an inspirational place. Built 10 years ago right in the middle of a deprived part of the city it was a farsighted first step in the city’s endeavour to clear the slums and improve the lives of its people. Now, a decade later, every day thousands of readers visit the library - ideally by bike - to borrow books, use the internet, to read and get information and drink coffee in the glass pub. Bibliotheek Permeke is a symbol that books change lives and that the power of reading is vital and essential.

On April 23 Erik Tonen and Peter Everaers met the library visitors in the foyer, raised funds for the UNESCO literacy projects in South Sudan and showed rare and fine books to the readers they would otherwise very likely never have seen.

More pictures: